Wednesday, May 22, 2013
RELEASING SOME CAPTURED BOKO HARAM MEMBERS...Clueless or inspired? BY ENA OFUGARA
To lead a land as divided as Nigeria...divided by tribe, religion, economics, education, landmass etc is not easy. Like I always have maintained, ALL AMERICANS STAND BEHIND OBAMA TO FIGHT TERROR.
In Nigeria's case, even the CBN governor apparently supports Boko Haram. All the Northern Elder and Emirs have come out to say GEJ HAS DECLARED WAR ON THE NORTH.
For southerners or for many Christians, the words said in the TV Series SPARTACUS "Kill them all" should be the mantra for the soldiers battling Boko Haram in the three Northern States where State of Emergency has been declared. In our hearts we would not mind a little genocide to go with our breakfast lunch and dinner. And who would blame us? With over four thousand dead since 1999 to violence from Boko Haram, with the gruesome murders of Youth Corpers, Church-goers, merrymakers in bars and outright removal from homes and murder of whole families, our bile pumps more bitters than Alomo.
The Nigerian army has shocked many of us with some of the equipment they have mustered for this battle and they have not been afraid to use it. Reports of air strikes abound. Also the information gathering seems to have been spot on. No one has accused the army of hitting civilian targets but instead attacks have thus far been rightly against these strongholds of the sect. The information is so good that even when the Boko Haram members were burying one of their own, the army swooped in and arrested a hundred and thirty plus.
While totally praising our troops and commiserating with those who have died in service of the fatherland including the helicopter shot down by a land to air missile which the army says are gotten from Libya and I daresay Mali, I urge them to have allegiance not to God or Allah, not to some tribe or region, but to the Nigerian flag and their Commander in chief. Boko Haram is a scourge to us all, even if the Northern elites do not see it that way
The Northern elites... these age-old viruses and parasites under whose leadership the North has been underdeveloped and who should be hanging their heads in shame and ignominy, manage to remain sadly relevant. They have come out to say GEJ has declared war on the North. These same people who encouraged the fight against the Niger Delta Militants whose grouse were known, whose leaders came out and talked with open faces and who took their case international and met with sympathy, these same Northern Elders Forum that called for their annihilation has come out to say GEJ's call for State of Emergency which in many of our opinions is a year or two overdue, is a war against the North. Buhari has called for GEJ's resignation (make he hand over to you abi? mtchewww).
However in fairness to the North, the Governor's Forum and many of the Youth Organizations have chosen to make the Northern Elders Forum into the pterodactyls that they are...sadly this time refusing to be extinct. They have come out in support of GEJ and NIGERIA by supporting the activities of the army.
But in leadership, public opinion can change in an instant. The momentum is with GEJ. His career critics are perched deciding whether to be for the SOE (state of emergency) or not to be. They are waiting on a mistake to pounce and side to choose.
Now against the backdrop of the Northern Elder's Forum's charge of war against the North, against the backdrop that true peace is the placation of various sides as opposed to reliance on violence only. As is consistent with all wars that have ended including the Biafra war, World war 2, Rwandan war etc, to seek to kill and imprison all wrongdoers is asinine. A lot of people are mere followers and the target is to capture the ringleaders, choose the ones who are amenable to reason and eliminate the ones most headstrong. The ones amenable to reason are then put in the forefront and granted amnesty and empowered to lead their people to peace. This is the only solution to lasting peace. TO GET THE LEADERS ON YOUR SIDE.
We have seen this with Tom Polo and Asari Dokubo who despite his hot air, we know he was well and truly compromised by the Federal Government of Yar'Adua. Now for other militants who are headstrong like Gen John Togo, they are immediately executed.
The same soldiers that tackled the Niger Delta Militants are the ones in the North right now. The same strategies which GEJ as then vice president must have been conversant with, are still available with a few tweaks. Yes Religion is an opium and it sadly is the main fuel of Boko Haram, it is mine and the President;s belief that Nigeria can eliminate a lot of the foot soldiers and many of the bigwigs by offering the carrot and then for the real zealots, the stick and death.
This is what has predicated GEJ's release of a number of the prisoners and all the women which has met serious criticisms.
Ask yourselves, what voices do these women have? How many times have we seen or heard that women were part of an assault team of Boko Haram? At best these women are accomplices and abettors and imprisoning them does nothing for Nigeria in the long run. Now imagine a speech by the hateful Northern Elders saying 200 Northern women are being held and rapeed in prison. Imagine how heated the polity will become.
As for the males, the Governors asked for them. I am certain they have been photographed and now these governors will attempt to break them with monetary or other offers.
Nigerians must realize that no action by any government or president will be unanimously agreed with. That our religions and regions shape our opinions more than we care to admit. Thus we must try and view decisions from other perspectives aside ours.
Also we must learn that compromise is the only way we can continue to be ONE NIGERIA.
Now what are the compromises on offer and which GEJ must preside and indeed presides over?
For the South, "the drones fly and death drops from the skies on the killers. Even if they aren't wiped out altogether, hopefully it would reduce and we can all have a moment of respite albeit short...at the least."
For Northerners, "it is not a war on us by the President. He has let our wives, sisters and mothers go free and some of our brothers too. There is money offer on the table and we can hereby better our lives"
For the Northern Governors, "a state of emergency is declared and we still get to control our monthly subventions and are still in power"
For Southern Governors, "our people will be safer and can remain in the north and not come and add to our population and problem".
For Northern Elders "Nothing this infidel can do that will impress us. He should resign. Power belongs to us or else Boko Haram should kill everybody"
For career critics headed by Sahara Reporters, Premium Times, Leadership etc "heads we insult GEJ, tails we insult GEJ."
For supporters of GEJ like myself "Way to go sir. Carrot and stick all the way"
I here remind all once again the purpose is not to punish but to put a stop to carnage. If the Tutsi seek to punish the Hutus, there will be no Rwanda. If Gowon had sought to punish Ibos for treason, there will be no Nigeria. If the world had decided to punish every foot soldier in Adolf Hitler's Germany, no German youth would be free today. And if America and Japan remembers Pearl Harbour and worse Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they would not have the closest military alliance where to attack America is to attack Japan and vice versa today.
In conclusion, your views may be different from mine. We cannot all be agreed. It is why we elected a president to "use his mind" and lead us. GEJ is doing it. Let us help him with belief, faith, prayers, constructive criticism and encouragement.
And by the way F**k Northern Elders Forum. Your people suffer because of your greed, theft and feudal lordship and no reason else. LOOK IN THE MIRROR and tell yourselves the truth.